The Vampire’s Guide to DenverEdit
Denver is a tightly controlled society for the Kindred. Dominated by the Church of the Living Testament, and by the Mr Druitt & Associates Trust, Kindred behaviour and the Masquerade is strictly maintained. Denver is like a feudal fief for the members of the Trust. Any new Kindred are admitted to Denver’s society only after strict referrals and tests. Denver is a slow, peaceful paradise for the elder vampires of the city, and not terribly fun for those at the bottom. It’s rumoured that Mr Druitt made pacts with the ‘archangel entity’ in order ensure his continued power, which may explain the lack of opposing factions or vicious politics that normally colours a vampiric social scene.
Typically, each Kindred as assigned a role in the society – there are no unaligned Kindred or anarchs. (Or such that have been heard of). Younger vampires are typically used to maintain the affairs of the elders who may have trouble adapting to the modern pace of life, or as ‘blood-bags’ for elders with high blood potency. Everyone is regularly fed – younger vampires are supposed to live off animal blood obtained from meat packing plants – only those with high status are entitled to human or vampire blood. (This doesn’t stop the occasional bite at a social environment, but any Kindred who are found breaking the Masquerade are strictly punished). Young vampires take the surnames of their sires once they join Kindred society. Most of Denver’s vampires are ‘descended’ from the elite group of elders at the top of the pyramid.
The Elysium varies in location across Denver. Mr Druitt prefers a very well-mannered society, - first names are considered vulgar in public. Mr Druitt also prefers very formal dress at the Elysiums, and woe betide the Kindred who turns up wearing anything that’s out of place with the strict dress requirements!
Mr Druitt is a highly private individual, and rarely attends gatherings, often sending out his fellow Associates to speak for him. In fact, no one can really recall what Mr Druitt looks like – people seem to forget once they leave his presence, perhaps due to his great power. The words ‘Mr Druitt would like to make a suggestion...’ can send a chill down a vampire’s spine. Mr Druitt likes to give offenders a formal warning before any undue punishments are carried out.
The Church of the Holy Assumption (Lancea Sanctum)Edit
(Inspired by Silent Hill IV)
Denver's vampires are united by a single cult, the Church of the Holy Assumption, a Pentecostal Lancea Sanctum variant that would be considered heretical by other branches of the Sanctum.
All of Denver's vampire are expected to serve the Church in some way, or to attend church sessions as a parishioner on a regular basis.
The Living Testament is an oral text that accompanies the 'Testament of Longinus', (a historical book that claims that God sent Longinus, the Dark Messiah, to redeem the population of Kindred).
The Church is established around a metaphysical phenomena that occurred in 1856, allegedly the fall of an archangel from Heaven into Denver's soil. The Church of the Holy Assumption worships the archangel and tends to its needs. Its continually uttered words are gleaned for signs of prophecy and instruction. The worship of the Archangel gives the Church an uncanny ability to manipulate the metaphysical realm of the Firmament and its priests can enter the Hollow Places, strange otherworldly realms, and commune with the children born from the Archangel's collected blood.
The archangel's descent was observed by the Five Receivers of Wisdom, whose names are recorded on the First Seal of the Holy Assumption. When the last name was inscribed, the First Seal vanished, transported by God back to Heaven.
The mortal earth of the world could not bear the passage of the archangel, and so the archangel sank from this mortal realm, sliding from the metaphysical world to the physical world. The terrifying shock of angel's fall fractured the connections between both worlds, creating the 'Hollow Places'. In special Hollow Places, the angel's blood collects, giving birth to lesser angels.
It is said that the archangel will awaken fully at the Time of Judgment, when Longinus returns to reap the Kindred and chose those who will rule in the World Yet to Come.
The Receivers of Wisdom were changed by the holy sight of the archangel's fall. They were compelled to tend to its slumber, until the fateful time of the awakening occurred. The Living Testament only reveals the name of the First Receiver of Wisdom, and this is Holy Mother De La Rosa, the spiritual head of the Faith. Her words reveal the Living Testament to her listeners, and these are written down. The Holy Mother is divinely inspired and her Testament is a living document, evolving and changing as the Holy Mother receives the Words of Benediction from the archangel. These words are made known to her Priests, who spread them to the flock. Those who hear the words cannot distort them or twist them, because the impurity of twisting the message of an archangel will burn them from within. Only those who hold the archangel's true name can directly hear its words, and Mother De La Rosa is the only one revealed in the Living Testament to bear this secret.
The Living Testament mentions that the archangel's resting place would be assailed be constantly assailed by demons, who seek to destroy the holy miracle. These demons have their own place in the Firmament, but can cross over into the Fundament through the Hollow Places. The Living Testament mentions it is the sacred duty of the Faith to destroy these demons, so as to succor the archangel during its rest.
The Living Testament also refers to the 'beasts of the field' - half-demon lupines that gather near unsanctified Hollow Places. Those prey upon demons but do not consume the flesh of the kine or the children of the archangel are tolerated. Those that prey upon kine or upon the children of the archangel are to be destroyed. Traditionally, some of the Beasts of the Field were trained as watchdogs to serve the Faith, guided by he who is called the Shepherd of the Beasts or the Master of the Coursing Hounds. These watchdogs are used to hunt down demons who would devour and consume the archangel and its children.
The Seal of the Holy Assumption is special image of a five-pointed star. The unfaithful cannot bear this image. Those who are not Kindred but who bear this image are to be given safe passage.
Mr Druitt & Associates (Invictus)Edit
The Trust of 'Mr Druitt & Associates' is the governing body of vampire society in Denver, a variant of the Invictus (although they do not call themselves that).
While the Church focuses on tending to the Archangel's needs, the Druitt Trust organises Denver's Kindred, buys out buildings and areas that contain the Hollow Places, and keeps supernatural activity to a minimum. Any strange, supernatural aberrancy is brutally quashed. The law of the Masquerade is absolute, and even innocent violaters will be shown no mercy. The Druitt Trust also organises the Elysium, formal gatherings that occur every month. The Druitt Trust strictly control all new Embraces.
The Esoteric Order of the Illuminated Dragon (Ordo Dracul)Edit
The main, official purpose of the Order in Denver is to breed the various ghoul family bloodlines, maintain feeding bloodstock (human and animal, and all younger vampires are expected to subsist of the supplied blood from the meat packing plants until they are allowed access to the human feeding pools, by displaying merit as determined by the Associates) and monitor the Wyrm's Nests, acting a second control upon the Archangel and associated manifestations, outside of the Church.
Unofficially, the Order serves as an eclectic group of natural philosophers, researchers and historians, whose main period of interest is discovering the nature of the Archangel without subscribing to the religious dogma preferred by the Church of the Living Testament. They have their own complex hierarchy and lodge structure, that no outsider knows the full details of. It’s rumoured that the Order continually experiments with blood alchemy, at the bequest of Mr Druitt. No one is sure exactly what goes on in their secret chambers...